For many pet parents, finding a boarding facility you trust to leave your four legged family members with while you are out of town can be a very difficult and sometimes agonizing decision. You have to make sure the facility you use meets the standards you would want for your pet. But even after you ask the facility everything you can think of, how do you know they actually practice what they preach? Here are some helpful tips to help you make sure you find the best boarding facility to take care of you pet while you cannot.
Word of Mouth.
One of the best ways to find a good boarding facility is by hearing first hand experiences from other pet owners who have used the facility. Go online and read reviews, ask other dog owners, your local vet or your groomer. After all, what better way to know how the facility treats the animals in their care than by asking owners whose pets have already stayed and used their services.
Believe it or not, a good facility usually will have more than one room option. Facilities that really strive for cleanliness will most likely have an elevated bed because it will help keep the room clean. No matter what the room, make sure your dog will have frequent access to the outdoors for a potty break, whether that is playing outside during daycamp, or just having access to outside if you don’t want them with other dogs. Having frequent access also helps keep your dog’s living environment clean.
When you walk into the facility, did the staff greet you in a friendly manner? Were they willing to take you on a tour of their facility? These are important things to keep in mind when you walk into the facility for the first time. If and when you take a tour of the facility, as most pet owners do before leaving their fur-baby to be boarded, notice if the staff had a positive attitude and were interacting well with the animals. Basically, did the employees look like they were enjoying the time with the dogs and enjoying their work? After all, you want your dog(s) to get attention and love from whoever is watching them while you cannot be there to provide said love and attention to them yourself.
Tour of the Facility.
When you take a tour of the facility, make sure the facility is clean, and there are no strange odors. The living and play areas should not only look clean but also smell clean. If you are in the play area, how quick is the staff to pick up after a dog has gone to the bathroom. A good boarding facility will be constantly watching and picking up after dogs to prevent spreading disease by leaving waste on the floor. Another good indicator of how a facility and its employees treat the dogs staying with them is if the dogs are lying down (i.e. relaxed) or sleeping in their respective rooms. This is a sign that the dogs are comfortable with their surroundings. If all or most of the dogs are pacing or continuously barking, then they are not comfortable with the environment they are in, which is not a good sign.
The same as true with boarding your cat, if you walk into a Cattery and the room is quiet then the cats currently boarding with the facility are happy and being well taken care of. However, if they are restless and noisy, then the cats are not comfortable with their environment. It is much more obvious with cats and a quiet room than it will be with dogs. But if you look for the previously mentioned signs, you will know how the animals feel in the facility.
The play area the facility offers for dogs to socialize with each other during daycamp should be watched by at least one employee at all times. These play areas should also have the dogs divided into small and large dogs. When dogs are playing you also want to make sure there are no aggressive dogs mingling with the other dogs.
If you go to a new boarding facility and they are not willing to give a tour, or the premises smell or there is an outrageous amount of barking, these are signs of a kennel that probably is not the best.
While there are many choices when deciding on a good boarding facility, what it all comes down to is, “you get what you pay for.” While the saying is very cliché, it could not be truer in this instance. You will most likely have more room options with extra amenities to make your dog feel more at home the higher your budget goes.
Secondly, it is also important for you to trust your gut. Does the environment of the facility make you feel good or bad? If you feel comfortable then you can bet your four-legged friend will too.
Here at Williamsburg Pet Hotel & Suites we take pride in the cleanliness of our facility and how fantastic our staff is. If you are interested in boarding your dog here or just want a tour of the facility for future reference, then please don’t hesitate to stop by or give us a call for more information. (636) 227-5764